Cultural and Social Psychology
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TERRORISM
Bruce Bongar, Lisa M. Brown, Larry E. Beutler, James N. Breckenridge, and Philip G. Zimbardo (Eds.)
Oxford University Press, 2006
EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES The reader will be able to:
• Describe the relevant aspects of psychology related to terrorism
• Describe the newest findings on treatment and clinical response protocols
• Describe the psychological consequences of terrorism
• Use methods for assessing and managing “terrorism stress”
Bruce Bongar is Consulting Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Lisa M. Brown is Assistant Professor, Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida.
Larry E. Beutler is William McInnes Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, Palo Alto, CA.
James N. Breckenridge is Professor of Psychology and Director of Training at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium.
Philip G. Zimbardo is Professor of Psychology (retired) at Stanford University and the past president of the American Psychological Association.
During the past decade, we have witnessed a dramatic transformation in the nature and uses of terrorism. In the 70s, it was often repeated that terrorists "want a lot of people watching, not a lot of people dead"; today, it is more accurate to say that terrorists want a lot of people dead, and even more people crippled by fear and grief. A major strategic intent of modern terrorists is to use larger scale physical attacks to cause stress in the general population. These changes in terrorist strategy have made it clear that we need better psychological and social responses to terrorism and man-made disasters. The psychological science needed to provide proper and effective treatment for victims of horrendous events, such as September 11th, and future potential terrorist acts, simply does not exist, so military, medical, and psychological experts must work together to improve their understanding of mass casualty terrorism.
In "Psychology of Terrorism" leading national and international experts present the first results of this effort, including the newest findings on treatment of and clinical responses to terrorism along with their respective underlying theories. They address the history of terrorism; types and effects of weapons of mass destruction or disruption; the role of the military, government agencies, and volunteer groups in responding to terrorist threats; psychological consequences of terrorism; and treatment of special populations such as children and older adults.
This volume will be an ideal text for both academic and professional courses as well as a comprehensive resource for mental health clinicians and researchers, medical care providers, educators, public health specialists, government employees, police and fire departments, and non-profit agencies that provide services and craft policy.
Psychology of Terrorism is a must read for anyone interested in understanding the psychological roots of modern terrorism. Its profoundness is overshadowed only by the impressive line of international experts it hosts from the field of psychology. The volume deals with the issue of modern terrorism in a way unprecedented in academic literature. Issues such as the psychology of mass mediated fear, psychological resilience, and effects of exposure to terrorism are thoroughly researched and presented with utmost clarity. With its rare and unique perspective on modern terrorism, this volume helps map the roots of some of the most burning problems of the post-Sep. 11th world. Anyone interested in understanding what drives people to become suicide terrorists should read this book. --Isaac Ben-Israel, Major General (Retired), Professor and Director of Security Studies, Tel Aviv University
An outstanding and timely publication. It should be read by all practitioners, regardless of their discipline. It provides the most up-to-date behavioral science perspective on the psychology of terrorism in a practical format. The volume editors and contributors are truly world class scholars. --Pat DeLeon, former President, American Psychological Association
A comprehensive and thorough review of an emerging discipline that can only grow in importance in the future. It could well be the most relevant topic of our time."--Elizabeth Holmes, American Board of Professional Psychology, Captain , Medical Service Corps., United States Navy (Retired), Center for the Study of Professional Military Ethics
The contents of this volume provide an incredibly valuable and vital resource. The work of these contributors will enable our profession to more readily step forward and engage in research and clinical endeavors aimed at reducing both terrorist threats and the accompanying psychological consequences. Although I rue the need for this excellent resource, I remain grateful for it. --From the foreword by Gerald P. Koocher, President, American Psychological Association
In sum, it would be difficult to find a more thorough and comprehensive compendium on the psychology of terrorism in all its important aspects than that represented by this volume. The book is well-written and well-edited, and manages to achieve that rare balancing act of a multi-authored, edited book: the chapters are supportive and reinforcing of one another, without being repetitive and redundant. The authors and editors are to be commended for producing a one-stop-shopping handbook of the psychology of terrorism that can serve as a university-level course textbook or as a scholarly and practical reference manual for one of the most critical challenges of our new century.--International Journal of Emergency Mental Health